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Can Carrier Block Texts Based on Content? T-Mobile Tells Federal Court the Answer Is Yes

Posted Sep 23, 2010 6:41 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In what the Threat Level blog of Wired describes as the first federal case addressing whether wireless providers are permitted to block text messages based on their content, T-Mobile USA Inc. argued in a filing (PDF) yesterday in federal court in Manhattan that it does have this power.

The issue arises in battle between the wireless carrier and a texting service, which signs up customers for so-called "short code" services, in a Southern District of New York case that tests the limits of currently unclear Federal Communications Commission rules about network neutrality.

After the service, EZ Texting, signed up a California medical marijuana dispensing organization, T-Mobile balked concerning all of the company's clients until EZ Texting provided T-Mobile with a list to pre-approve, the blog post explains.

T-Mobile says the power to pre-approve such clients is necessary “to protect the carrier and its customers from potentially illegal, fraudulent or offensive marketing campaigns conducted on its network.”

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